What defines the 4th more than a plate of great food?
Everyone has a different image of what a 4th of July celebration should be. Where I lived in Colorado, it became the two months of fireworks between Cinco de Mayo and July 4th capped off with a backyard BBQ. Most of my recent 4ths have been spent in Pittsburgh at the Mars ultimate frisbee tournament. Unfortunately, I had to miss it this year. Instead, I attended a celebration which felt like a good 4th carnival back home.
Tub of soda and beer.
To start off with, most people filed through a room with burgers, potato salads, cupcakes, friend chicken and other great food in giant trays. We filled up our paper plates, grabbed our plastic ware, and headed for the giant paper covered tables. After dropping off your food, you went over to the giant tub to grab a drink. Some soda. Lots of beer.
After eating, everyone got down to the business at hand. Games. We had all types of carnival games and activities. Through the night, you'd gather and spend tickets that you could use for the raffle at the end of the night.
J-Bird, Angie, Dave, and Casey see who is the best behind the wheel in NASCAR racing.
Keith gets ready take a swim in the dunking tank.
Rolling the big dice isn't easy. (Yes, that is a beaker in his hand.)
At the Photo Booth, Casey wishes he was somewhere warmer.
Austin bobs and weaves in the Server's Challenge.
Our store managers, Jolene and Amy, tested our shopping savvy at Guess the Price.
Tom and Will whip up some old style funnel cake.
Sean adds another level in the highlight of the evening, Human Jenga.
Meghan topples the Human Jenga.
Joe gets to the top of the Human Jenga.
The Firehouse, VMF, IT, Pat, James and a few others had a Chili Cook Off.
Todd and Angie delivered tattoos to order.
Sensitive Dan displays his new ink.
After all the games slowly wrapped up, everyone got ready for the annual auction. People donated all types of items to be sold off. Traditionally, the money is donated to charity, but the federal government says you can't collect money for charity at a federal work place anymore. Since we are funded by the National Science Foundation, we are federal. This year, all the money went back to the community in the form of a raffle. Some of the items up for grabs were tucker rides, massages, and knit products. I think the hottest item was either the only thing that survived the smurf shack fire, a warped wrench, or the knit G-string seen below.
Chris models the knit g-string for auction.
I can't find any pictures, but after the auction wrapped up the live music started up. We started out with a great bass rendition of the Star Spangled Banner by J-Bird. Then, McBand was up. They were composed of B-Nelson, Jim, Jen, Tom, Kish, Dave, and J-Bird. They played a lot of great covers of old favorites like Johnny Be Good. Perennial band, Level 5, closed out the evening. Great stuff all around. I was in and out for most of the evening because my mood wasn't fitting the festivities, but for when I was there I had a great time.